Updated: Dec 29, 2022
My favorite freedom in America is the freedom to drive.
City - city. State - state. With a full tank of gas and destination in heart, I fly like a dragon absorbing every landscape this beautiful world freely creates. On the interstate, you can go as far as you can go.
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
My car is always packed for a road trip or Armageddon. I'm ready!
This week, I drove from LA - Vegas - Zion - Grand Canyon - Phoenix - Scottsdale - Palm Springs - & back to LA in a Honda.
On Monday, I had an assignment location scouting for a feature film in Warner Valley, Utah. Tuesday, I drove through Gold Country (Nevada), past the Hoover Dam to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon (Arizona). Wednesday, I did Stand-Up in Phoenix and fell asleep at a hotel in Scottsdale. In the morning, I explored Old Town for the first time and am impressed! I've never been here before and it's super charming. I walked the river walk and toured Taliesin West. Then, continued working on another scouting assignment that requested desert roads with the Saguaro cactus and I found them! Did you know that Phoenix is a 2 1/2 hr straight shot from Palm Springs? The discoveries on the open road are endless!
All this is to say, every road leads to a different destination. On the open road, you're free to go any where you want to go.
Best Road Trips in America:
Since I live in LA and it's one of America's Most Visited cities,
I'll start here and expand!
Road Trips Driving from LA
#2 LA - Malibu
#3 LA - Big Sur - San Francisco
#4 LA - B.C. Canada
#5 LA - San Diego - Tijuana - Esenada, Mexico
PCH - Pacific Coast Highway - Big Sur
Running North/South along the Pacific Coast line, the PCH aka Pacific Coast Highway is arguably the most gorgeous road in the world. From Long Beach - Mexico - Malibu - British Columbia in Canada the PCH is the road to beautiful pacific ocean beaches.
With breathtaking ocean views and the redwood forest, this 7hr one-way trip is heaven on Earth. Here, is home to the Bixby Bridge and Pfeiffer waterfall (pictured above) this enchanted swath of land is where raw American forest meets ocean. It was here in Big Sur that I saw seafoam whip off the ocean and turn right into a cloud.
This part of the world is so magical and enchanting.
I was driving along a cold and moody coast when I saw a sign that caught my eye for "Holy Granola". I followed the sign 2 miles up a canyon and found a monastery called Hermitage. It's so quiet. So peaceful and the views are incredible. There are benches for sitting and meditation stations. What's incredible is the road drives you through the clouds and the sun shines bright up here.
LA - San Fran
LA - British Columbia
Drive a little higher than San Fran and find yourself breathing the fresh air of redwoods in the Pacific Northwest of Portland - Seattle - BC.
We stayed in British Columbia for 2 days. Had the budget permitted, I would have stayed a 4 days to a week, but work calls.
LA - UTAH
Zion - Bryce Canyon
LA - Barstow - Baker - Las Vegas - St. George - Hurricane - Zion
I drive this road more than a trucker. It's my favorite and I love every pit-stop along the way! (Except that over-priced gas station shaped like a red barn in Baker that sells drinks but has "no public restroom".) The alien jerky shop is my jam!
On the way to Zion, you'll see a bright white building against the red cliffs and a manmade D in the mountain. This is the historic pioneer town of St. George, Utah. That bright white building is the oldest operating LDS Temple in the world. With its rich pioneer history, beautiful landscape and focus on family, St. George has become one of the fastest growing cities in America.
While in St. George, visit Red Hills Desert Garden
Back on the Interstate, take exit 16 and hang out where I stay in Hurricane. It's on the way to Zion and home to 2 fresh water reservoirs that make a nice place to rest in the hot summer months. Check out: Sand Hollow & Quail Creek. Perfect for camping, canoeing, cliff diving, and swimming!
Drive through Hurricane for one of the greatest road trip forks in the road: RIGHT for Kanab, The Wave, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell & Grand Canyon. OR LEFT, over the La Verkin suspension bridge, (pitstop River Roasting Co for food and drinks), then up Scenic State Route 9 into Zion.
Here, you can eat, lodge, camp, horseback ride and go on incredible adventures. You can stay at the Zion Lodge (inside the park) or at one of the many charming bed and breakfasts located just a mile outside the park in the town of Springdale. There's plenty of places to eat, just be sure to time it right before the dinner hiking crowd (unless you don't mind waiting an hour to be seated. Patience is a virtue). The most famous hikes in Zion are Angel's Landing and The Narrows. For people who don't have to be a hero, you'll enjoy the paved Pa'rus Trail next to the Zion National Park Gift Shop and Virgin River. My favorite hike is Emerald Pools.
After a nice hike or 2 inside Zion National Park, drive through the Mt. Carmel Tunnel to Checkerboard Mesa. Then, past Duck Creek to Bryce Canyon. Hike Mossy Cove Trail and fall asleep under the stars gazing at millions/billions of years of life in the making. Bryce Canyon has a low level of light pollution making it one of the best places to stargaze in the world.
Red Canyon, Utah
If you're making the pilgrimage to Utah to see all that you can see, visit The Mighty Five
The Mighty Five
This drive is unlike any you'll take in the world. I put it as #1 because it's rare, incredible, and less traffic that the PCH. Utah is incredible. Once home to the dinosaurs and Ancient Native American people, Utah's rich, natural monoliths touch a sacred reach in the sky. The national parks are a sight to see and worth seeing them all if you're willing to take this roap trip. Here's a scenic guide to Utah's National Parks.
Have you been to any of these destinations? Where's your favorite place to road trip? Do you have any tips?! Leave your tips and trips in the comments below & thanks for reading! If you liked this article, like and share it!
As a bonus: Here’s a free map!